01 July 2011

"Everybody Loves Lawyers"

By Curtis C. Chen

Jake disliked the man standing in the lobby immediately. It wasn't the slicked-back hair, the iridescent three-piece suit, or the trendy stubble covering the bottom half of a face too young and round for that look. It was the smell. Jake didn't trust men who wore cologne.

Libby took a single step forward when the elevator doors opened, then froze. Jake nearly ran into her and had to yank his arm back to avoid inappropriate touching. Andy exhaled sharply as his stomach met Jake's elbow.

"Libby?" said the man in the lobby. "Liberty Wasserman?"

Libby recovered from her momentary surprise and walked out of the elevator. Jake and Andy followed and stopped on either side of her, facing the man in the sharkskin suit.

"Roland," Libby said. "I didn't know you were with Levine and Associates."

"You know this guy?" Jake asked Libby.

"You work for Karl Levine?" Andy asked the lawyer. Levine and Associates was the finest criminal defense outfit in the city—more dedicated, more ruthless, and more expensive than any other law firm for a hundred miles.

"Roland Stern," the man said, holding out a business card. Andy took it and held it up to the light. The holographic printing made the text appear to hover above the paper. "I'm doing a pro bono rotation. And yes, I went to law school with Miss Wasserman—it is still 'Miss,' isn't it?"

"It's District Attorney Wasserman," Libby said, with an edge on her voice. She nodded at the folded paper in Stern's left hand. "You've read the people's brief?"

Stern nodded. "Yes, and may I say, it's very generous of you to authorize ROR, considering the unfortunate lapse in judgment my client displayed this morning."

"Save it," Libby said. "We know she's ill, and she's been cooperating. Are you ready to take custody?"

Stern actually winked at Libby. "Are you trying to get rid of me already, counselor?"

Jake saw the muscles in Libby's jaw clenching for a moment before she replied. "Detective Dixon will help you with the paperwork."

Andy looked up from his examination of Stern's business card. "I will?"

"Detective Lanosky and I have an appointment elsewhere," Libby said. "If you'll excuse us."

She pinched Jake in the side and hustled him out the front door of the police station before he could object.


Photo: Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers 2 by The Reeves Law Group, June, 2011

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